Tag Archives: Social

Cloud first, mobile first, social first

The Adobe® Digital Enterprise Platform (ADEP) Experience Server supports WAN clustering (important in high latency situations and given distributed infrastructure), hot cluster join (allowing you to expand infrastructure on the fly), and runs in a very small memory and CPU footprint. This makes the Experience Server suitable for deployment in the cloud, whether actual deployments are done there or on premise.[1]

Explosion of mobile devices

In pursuing interaction patterns, ADEP starts its approach with mobile devices (particularly tablets) and then expands to consider other environments. ADEP can detect over 17,000 devices,[2] enabling content contributors to understand exactly what experience will be delivered to segmented content consumers via device emulation support. ADEP presents the concept of device groups to reduce the complexity and managing the diverse range of never-ending devices and device types.

Direct service of one may indicate subsequent service to others

Today’s customer increasingly leverages social activities to gain validation of their decisions and to share them with others. ADEP supports a range of social capabilities including support for local communities and the ability to glean information from public communities (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and use that information to tailor the customer experience. Social capabilities in the platform are much like the public social environment: they surround everything we do and are available for use at any time for any purpose.

With ADEP:

  • You build applications for the cloud with on premise in mind,
  • You build applications for mobile with desktop in mind, and
  • You understand that every user is a contributor and has a social graph.

This post wraps up the current series on ADEP architecture principles. Now that we have a shared frame of reference, we’ll return to ADEP Developer Center as a PDF download. Please feel free to provide me with your feedback on that work here. Thanks in advance!

[1] i.e. ADEP Experience Server is “cloud ready”
[2] Adobe’s Customer Experience Solution for Web Experience Management (previously known as CQ5), leverages the WURFL device description repository.

Thoughts on social software

Social is a popular adjective in software these days (along with cloud and mobile); so, I thought I’d capture some of how I view social in light of enterprise software and customer experience.

Footprint in the sand

When I think about “social software” I think about how experiences are impressionable (e.g. customers can leave impressions causing other direct/indirect participants to learn/benefit/dialog/collaborate). To me, “social” means allowing users to leave impressions such that impressions are mined for context and understood in context. Software that embraces this notion of sociability becomes more context-sensitive as a whole much like a piece of UI might present or hide itself depending on context (e.g. user’s role, workflow state, etc.) or a different service is invoked depending on context (e.g. SLA).

To me, “social software” isn’t about simply sprinkling social artifacts into existing systems (e.g. adding tags, ranking, etc.). It’s about ensuring that software incorporates sociability into its equilibrium as presented to customers.

One hears “less is more” and “more is more.” I find that both can be true, and the user will ultimate indicate the truth. In the case of providing more context, a user action to exclude is social to the underlying system, if that system is built to recognize it as such. That is, being exclusive is part of being social; excluding (and including) is a form of engagement. “Social software” must promote engagement–for relationship-based business benefit.

Being social can mean being friendly (i.e. sensitive to past expressions of preference, a form of context, as well current inference of the task at hand in a framing goal). A context-sensitive platform should go beyond just facilitating “one degree of friendliness.” It should anticipate the implications of deeper…collaboration. When a compelling experience and frictionless interaction is delivered to one, it can become a beacon for many subsequent experiences and interactions. So, how can this downstream effect be understood up front? How should context-sensitivity adjust, pivot, etc. to optimally understand this potential (reality)? “Social software” get this at its core.

Social is about collaboration–with purpose. To understand/infer purpose requires being sensitive to context.[1]

My definition of being social is as follows: a software system that allows any user to leave an impression, expecting that the system will recognize it, understand it and subsequently bring it to bear on the resulting experience, across space and time (i.e. same customer and/or different customer(s), immediately and/or in the future). This is just one of the traits we’re building into our enterprise platform at Adobe.

[1] For more on context, you may want to check out what my colleague Ben Watson has started over at Contextography.com.

Program or Be Programmed

The industrial age challenged us to rethink the limits of the human body: Where does my body end and the tool begin? The digital age challenges us to rethink the limits of the human mind: What are the boundaries of my cognition?

It’s tragically ironic that the tagline for Douglas Rushkoff’s book incorporates an Old Testament reference to the Ten Commandments, since Rushkoff writes in his introduction that the Jewish race has, since the time of Moses, merely promoted an “enduring myth” where the contents of those stone tablets is concerned.

Regardless, Rushkoff’s perspective is fascinating and worth some contemplation:

  • Are we just learning to use programs or are we learning to make programs?
  • Do we favor the distracted over the focused, the automatic over the considered, and the contrary over the compassionate? Why?
  • Do we merely grant our kids access to the capabilities given to them by others, or do we empower them to determine the value-creating capabilities of these technologies for themselves?
  • Do we pursue new abilities, or do we fetishize new toys?
  • Are we optimizing our machines for humanity, or are we optimizing humans for machinery?
  • Do we think and behave differently when operating different technology as we do given different settings?
  • Are we allowing computers and networks to discourage our more complex processes–our higher order cognition, contemplation, innovation, and meaning making–in addition to copying our intellectual processes (i.e. our repeatable programs)?

…and these are questions that arise after reading just the introductory chapter…

Apparently Rushkoff’s book grew from a short talk he has given on the subject, and there is substantial commentary to wade into just on the talk alone. [1][2]

Contemplation. Something that can all to easily become sacrificed on the altar of busyness. Something to fight for, protect and prize. Warmly embracing why.

Here’s to a 2011 that is more focused, considered and compassionate!

[1] http://rushkoff.com/2010/03/25/program-or-be-programmed/
[2] http://boingboing.net/2010/03/30/rushkoff-program-or.html